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Students of All Ages Make Joyful Noise at Choir Festival

San Marcos teacher Carolyn Teraoka-Brady came up with the idea for school district choral event

San Marcos, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos high school choirs sing at festival.
San Marcos, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos high school choirs sing at festival. (Carolyn Teraoka-Brady)

Some 400 students, representing 15 elementary and secondary schools, gathered in the San Marcos High School auditorium Monday to raise their voices together in the fourth annual Santa Barbara Unified School District Festival de Coros.

The festival, which is the brainchild of San Marcos High School chorus teacher Carolyn Teraoka-Brady, brought together choral groups from transitional-kindergarten through 12th grade.

“The art of choral music is important to me. I wanted to have a special concert for grades K-12 and feature each school in our district, and also give the high school singers a combined choir experience,” Tearaoka-Brady said.

“At this concert elementary kids can imagine themselves singing in a high school choir, and the junior high and senior high choirs can connect with singers their own age and be part of a larger community of singers and have a great time,” she said.

Each of the school’s choirs performed one or two songs with a variety of musical styles on offer including pop, classical, spirituals, international folk and show tunes.

Among the evening’s highlights was hearing the massed voices of the combined high school choirs and the combined elementary choirs. San Marcos, Dos Pueblos and San Marcos high schools combined students to create a 100-voice choir to perform Frank Ticheli’s “Earth Song.”

For the finale, the elementary school students united to form an equally large group and quickly taught the audience a part to sing along with the students on Avon Gillespie’s “Sing, Sing, Sing,” creating an impromptu community sing-a-long to send everyone home with a song in their hearts.

— Brett Larsen for Santa Barbara Unified School District.


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